In Which She Succumbs to the Allure of the Mohair

The middle of the night is not the best time to make decisions.  Yesterday I went to bed at a sensible 10 p.m.  I awakened at 1 a.m., thirsty.  I walked to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of Perrier.  I like mine fizzy.  On the way back to the bedroom, I was accosted by a large ball of mohair which surrounded me with its fuzzy fibers, forced me to the sheath of knitting needles, and dragged me back to my room with a pair of US 5 aluminums in hand.  Before I knew what was happening, I had cast on 60 stitches and was knitting a wrap.  I couldn’t sleep until the first four inches were complete.
Somehow, in my middle of the night haze, I had sense enough to not try a fancy stitch pattern.  It would have been lost in the fuzz.  I managed some minor shaping on the beginning end of the wrap, but kept it simple with a garter stitch body.  So now, on my needles, I have this: mohairwrap1.jpg  Up close, you can see the extreme fuzziness of these wiry little fibers.  They form a wonderfully thick, bouncy fabric that is very lightweight. mohairwrap1b.jpg
You can see that I am knitting the wrap from end to end, so the stripes will run vertically when it is worn.  I’m using aluminum needles for this, my choice for a yarn that is going to cling excessively to bamboo and other woods.  I am knitting very loosely, letting the yarn dictate how tightly I pull, and respecting the built-in loops and their tendency to slip onto the active needle unbidden.  It is knitting that requires attention, so the middle of the night angels must have been with me!
Other stuff is happening here.  Yesterday I made broccoli casserole.  I did some improvising and I like this better than any recipe I’ve used.
Ingredients:  2 10-oz bags of frozen broccoli florets, 12 oz. of finely shredded 4-cheese mix, 1 box of soft Mori-Nu silken tofu, 1 c. Veganaise (you can substitute mayonnaise, but not sweet tasting salad dressing), 1/2-3/4 c. vegetable broth

Prep:  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix together all ingredients except broccoli.  Using spoon or fork, crush any larger lumps of tofu.  Use as much vegetable broth as needed to keep mixture from being too thick.  Drop in broccoli florets (still frozen) and mix to coat all of them with sauce.  Spoon into medium casserole pan (10×10 inch, 2 inch deep worked well).  Cook approximately 1 hour or until top is browned and entire casserole is bubbly.  If desired, you can take out the casserole a little early and add crushed crackers to the top, then replace it for another 10 minutes.  (My family prefers Cheez-Its.)

The kids ate this greedily.  Getting broccoli into college students is not always easy.  Of course, if they read this and find out there was tofu in it, there may not be a second round. 

While I was up last night I took a peek at my email.  I was happy to see that Spirit Trail Fiberworks has returned from a round of shows and listed all their beautiful, hand-dyed yarns.  I made some selections but waited until this morning to finalize the deal.  Can’t wait until this shipment comes!  There will be some beauties in there.  I discovered Spirit Trail Fiberworks (http://www.spirit-trail.net/ )  when I was following leads in an article on a fiber show. 

The Spirit Trail Fiberworks experience illustrates one of the ways to expand your knitting (or any other craft or hobby, for that matter).  Read newsletters or articles on your craft.  You can find them by putting the name of your craft and the word “newsletter” into any search engine.  When I do this for knitting on Google, it brings up more than 200 thousand references.  You can easily sort through the first few pages and pick out a couple to review.  You will find that each newsletter has its own slant.  It may be aimed toward selling a particular product, or toward teaching beginners in the craft, or toward reviews of books about the craft…whatever it is, choose a few that are interesting to you and that you feel will help you grow in your craft.  I’ve always felt that learning the history of your craft, being familiar with the lingo of your craft, and having a reading knowledge of the breadth of your craft-how it’s being practiced in the world today, the trends in it, the materials possibilities for it, etc. make you much more grounded in the work.  This kind of knowledge is part of what holds you to a particular area and helps you to stay there while you grow and develop, producing more satisfying, better quality work. 

So much for Christmas Eve brevity.  Merry Merry!

and of course Peace!

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